Introduction: Pallet Nightstand

What's a pen without ink?

What's a man without a woman?

What's a party without the booze?

But most importantly.....

What is a bed without a pallet nightstand?!

Three months ago a big ol' pallet found its way to me. My girlfriend had always wanted a unique nightstand so I decided to make one for her.

Oh... If you like this instructable please vote for me in the pallet contest.

Step 1: Materials & Tools


- Pallet preferably a weathered one (I used the big double pallet you see in the picture)

- Nails

- Screws


- Piece of triplex or some other piece of thin plywood. Approximately 4-6 mm thick.

- Satin finish wood stain (water based)


- Pry bar

- Hammer

- Circular saw

- Belt Sander

- Hole saw

- Jig saw

Step 2: Breaking the Pallets Apart

Start by breaking the pallet apart. Use a prybar and a hammer to remove the slats. You can also use a chisel to loosen the slat before you use a prybar, doing this won´t damage the wood as much.

Step 3: Cut Frame Pieces

Let´s build the frame!

The frame consist of 10 (3x2 & 4x1) boards held together by 2 ´rectangles`.

- Cut the 10 boards at 52cm using your circular saw (or any desired length).

- Select which sets of board you want to use for the sides and which ones for the back.

- Put the sets of boards next to each other and measure the total width. This is the measurement you want to use for your rectangles.

- The rectangles consist of 4 pieces of beams each. It's really important to cut the beams at exactly the right size.

Step 4: Assembling the Rectangles

When you're done cutting the pieces you can assemble the rectangles. The rectangles will be out of sight once the nightstand is finished. A pretty connection isn't that important.

The pieces of beams are 70mm thick and I didn't have screws that long. I drilled a 12mm hole half way up the beam so the screws would be long enough.

Be sure to make the rectangles squared and both exactly the same. I clamped the pieces down on top of each other while screwing to be sure I made them exactly the same.

Step 5: Cutting the Top Boards

When you're finished assembling the rectangles you have to cut the top boards. Use your circular saw to cut the pieces at the right size. You also have to cut your boards in length, an easy job for the circular saw.

Step 6: Sanding the Pieces

Before assembling the frame you have the sand the pieces with the belt sander. If you're crazy enough you can do it by hand but I strongly advice you not to;)

I used the belt sander in a circular motion to create a nice pattern.

Step 7: Assembling the Frame

For the assembly I only used nails. You can use glue too but it isn't necessary. The frame should be sturdy enough.

NOTE: When assembling the wood it should be dry. I assembled the frame when the wood was still moist (a rooky mistake). Once I had put it inside the house the wood shrunk and seems were showing. I didn't mind the seems because it gave a rustic look. But it's better to let the wood dry.

- Firstly assemble the top boards onto the rectangular. When the boards are a little bit too big you can use the belt sander to get it flush on all four sides.

- Secondly nail down the boards from the sides and the back. This is a tricky part. You have to clamp everything down and get it nice and square before nailing. I don't have a good picture of this part. I clamped it down on a workbench resting on a piece of wood, what later becomes the front board (you can see in the picture).

- Lastly you can assemble the front board.

Step 8: Glue Plywood Pieces

To make the drawer slide more easily you can glue two pieces of plywood to the inside of the frame as shown in the picture.

Step 9: Making the Drawer

The drawer is made of 5 pieces of wood and a piece of 4 mm plywood.

- Firstly measure up the size of the plywood and cut it with the circular saw.

- Measure the height and cut a groove into the front board 8mm in depth. This will fit the plywood.

- Cut up the other boards.

- Put the boards on top of the plywood and put them together with nails and glue.

Step 10: Making the Shelf

When you're finished with the drawer (without the board with the heart shape) you can place the shelf. Use screws to secure the two slats to the sides. Make sure the slats are even.

Now you can nail the shelf boards on the slats.

Step 11: Making the Heart-shaped Hole (Optional)

When you're making this for your girlfriend I would definitely recommend making the heart-shaped hole. Chicks dig hearts. Otherwise I would just make a round hole;)

- Firstly cut your board to the correct size.

- Secondly draw the correct heart shape you desire. I used a hole saw (32mm). (Always use a pencil and definitely not a sharpie. It will get in the wood and it's very hard to sand off).

- Drill the two holes with your hole saw.

- Use the jigsaw to cut out the remaining bit.

Now you can assemble the board with some nails and glue.

Step 12: Finishing the Wood

The nightstand is now finished. To protect the wood and to give it a little more detail I used a transparent satin stain. I colored this stain with a little bit of black and white pigment to give it a slight grey-wash effect.

- Clean the wood.

- Sand the wood with sand paper with 150 grid.

- Clean the wood again.

- Apply a layer of stain and wait for at least 4 hours.

- Sand the wood lightly with 200 grid.

- Clean the wood.

- Apply a second layer of stain.

Step 13: Final Product

I hope you enjoyed this instructable and I hope you decide to make one yourself one day (or for your girlfriend;).

Pallet Contest

Second Prize in the
Pallet Contest